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How to negotiate the best price on a car Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make better financial decisions by providing you with interactive financial calculators and tools that provide original and reliable content. This allows users to conduct research and compare information for free and help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The offers that appear on this site come from companies that pay us. This compensation could affect how and where products appear on this website, for example for instance, the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing, except where prohibited by law. This applies to our loan products, such as mortgages and home equity and other home loan products. But this compensation does have no impact on the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not cover the entire universe of businesses or financial offerings that could be available to you.


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4 min read published September 20, 2022

Writen by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers with the ins and outs of securely using loans to buy an automobile.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances by providing concise, well-researched, and well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated subjects into digestible pieces.

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A new car purchase is thrilling, but negotiating for an affordable price can be like a daunting task. Preparation is the key to having confidence and pushing for the price you’re worthy of. 7 steps to negotiate your car’s price. Set yourself up for success when negotiating by and researching your options. These tips will help you feel more prepared to negotiate with the seller and ensure you get a deal that fits your budget. 1. Figure out the essentials Before the negotiation process can begin, think about what kind of car you want. If you don’t already have your dream set of wheels, consider your needs and the way you live. Are you likely to drive long distances, or in dense traffic and require a fuel-efficient vehicle? Do you have just you and your partner, or will you require a larger vehicle to transport your children and relatives? Are any of the features negotiable? These are only a few questions to ponder when determining which makes and models . Also, you can run the numbers to figure out . Utilize an auto loan calculator to calculate the monthly cost Don’t forget to take into account the other option in determining a budget. Determine the maximum amount you will pay, and keep that figure in mind while negotiating. 2. Pre-approve for financing next thing you need to consider is financing. Think about getting financing before going to a dealer to purchase a vehicle. Most car dealerships offer in-house financing but it’s . Dealerships often increase their loan rates so they can gain. You can find better rates from banks, credit unions and online lenders, so compare offers and online. The financing you secure will help you keep your foot on the ground. You’ll know precisely the amount you’ll need to spend, which will mean less temptation toward upgrades and costly accessories. Additionally, preapproval grants you the power to negotiate. The dealer might be willing to match or beat the other offers you get to earn your business. to see what the monthly installments could be with different rates and loan terms. 3. Find out the value of the car Conduct research to find the car’s worth and then write down the following figures: Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) : The suggested price for sales per manufacturer, also known as the “sticker” price. in the invoice price: The amount the dealer is paid by the manufacturer to purchase the car. Fair market value: The the average price that others pay for the same or comparable vehicle . Find your MSRP in the pricing sheet attached to the vehicle’s window. You can identify the invoice price and fair market value through an online search or by using a tools. If you’re looking to buy a brand new car, you can use the invoice price as your starting point. Ideally, the price you choose should be between the MSRP and this number. If you’re purchasing a used vehicle or a used vehicle, you’ll have more flexibility when negotiating according to the car’s make, model, mileage and condition. 4. Research dealerships Even if a dealership has good prices on cars you love but it might not be the best option. Beware of dealers that charge high dealer fees or have poor reputations. Read online reviews to get insight from past customers. Also, ask about dealer costs before you start shopping for the next car. 5. Check around, unless you know exactly what vehicle you’re looking for, up to the manufacturer models, VIN and model You can shop around. Check out the dealerships in your region over the course of a few weeks. Learn about what cars are available and talk to a couple of different sales representatives. Make a shortlist of your top options and look up the MSRP, invoice price and Fair Market Value. You can use to facilitate the process. You’ll have the pricing information needed to negotiate the most favorable price and the seller will know you’ve doen your research. It’s harder to negotiate — and easier to overpay — when buying a car if you rush the buying process. 6. Find out about tips for negotiation Salespeople want you to negotiate your car’s price. Don’t feel bad asking for a price, but ensure you’ve got a plan. Be prepared with price reports or comparison sheets. Look up websites such as and . If you know what the fair cost for the vehicle is, or you find another dealer offering the best price, then communicate the information. It will give you an edge when negotiations. Stay firm. Even if it is difficult about seeking a better price don’t show it. Be confident and inform them of the amount you’d like to pay. It also implies the confidence that you know what you deserve. For example, if you know you have credit that is good make use of it to your advantage when discussing financing with a dealership. Be prepared to last for the long haul. It’s not uncommon to find the negotiation process to take time. Prepare for an extended stay at the dealership by being rested and taking care to avoid the possibility of becoming angry or speedy due to thirst, hunger or any other distractions. If you can’t get to the price you desire do not be afraid to walk away. There is a chance you can find a new car for sale and a better price elsewhere, or go back to the dealership next time and attempt to negotiate again. Walking away shows you’re serious about securing a good bargain. 7. Switch salesperson if necessary If you’re working with a salesperson who is making you feel uncomfortable, find someone else to assist. It’s a good idea to move your business to a different dealer to ensure that you are treated with respect while shopping and negotiating the best deal on an automobile. The next step is to buy a car. takes effort, but when you are spending this much money you must be certain that you get the car you desire at the cost you want prior to closing the deal. Take time before getting to the dealership to prepare to make a decision with confidence and know-how about the price you will pay. Don’t be afraid to insist on the price you’d like to pay and walk away if necessary. Find out more


Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers to navigate the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to purchase a car.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers to control their finances with clear, well-researched information that breaks down complicated subjects into digestible pieces.

Auto loans editor

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